M&C Saatchi Africa opened its doors in February 2013 under the leadership of Rick de Kock. At the end of March, Rick will depart M&C Saatchi Africa to join Barclays as head of marketing and communications Africa division.
"We've had had a fantastic run into Africa in a relatively short space of time," enthuses Mike Abel, Chief Executive Partner of M&C Saatchi Abel. "Rick helped usestablish a strong foothold for us into the second fastest growing economy in the world. So I am delighted to announce that effective April, Ashley Bacon will assume responsibility for our ambitious growth plans on the Continent.
"Ashley joins us with a wealth of both national and international experience in the marketing and communications space, including significant exposure to markets throughout Africa, thereby gaining the necessary insights to create pan African campaigns. Ashley has held executive creative and management positions in agencies on the Continent and across the globe and provided creative direction on iconic campaigns in the telecommunications, banking, motor, liquor, retail and hospitality sectors. He has an innate ability to simultaneously find solutions to both strategic and creative brand marketing challenges."
Regarding the M&C Saatchi Africa business, Mike elaborates. "We've acquired three major African lagerbrands that form part of the Heineken global brands stable, including Mutzig Lager and Gulder. Equally exciting is the work we are doing for a large financial services company in Nigeria, managing their digital and social media presence. This is particularly promising, as the objective from the outset has been to establish a fully integrated African model with digital at the heart of the offering.
"We have established successful partnerships in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Congo B and Rwanda. Choosing local agencies that have the right skill set and attitude is crucial. Once we have established these relationships, it's a matter of taking time to up-skill the teams and bring them to work with the teams in our South African operation so that, ultimately, they can bring new skills back to the African market to grow our client's Brands."
Ashley is passionate about growth prospects on the Continent. "Africa has always held a special appeal to me as it is where I believe the real growth in our industry is going to come from. Africa offers investors a market of over one billion consumers and a rapidly rising middle class with growing disposable income, all of whom are linked via technology making it easier for advertisers to speak to them. It's a great time to be working on the Continent. I look forward to further extending the footprint of M&C Saatchi Africa into the second fastest growing economy in the world after Asia," commented Ashley.